Chipmunks in the ceiling

Chipmunk in shower skylight North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaI’ve discovered a few small “gifts” lately on my table.  Tiny turds too big to be mouse and I’ve heard scampering overhead.  Must be chipmunks in the ceiling.  Don’t know how they got in.  At first I thought the scampering sound came from Ravens on the RV roof.  But somehow it sounded closer, like inside somehow.  I followed the noise into the bedroom where the shower stall is and low and behold, I saw a chipmunk looking down at me through the skylight over the shower.  So of course I went to get the camera.

Three chipmunks in shower skylight North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaBut then there were two.  Then three.

Three chipmunks in shower skylight North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaThen four chipmunks dancing between two layers of plastic.  How did they get in there.  And more important, how to get them out.  I went to maintenance and asked for a live trap but there were none to be had or at least not one that’s chipmunk size with mesh small enough they couldn’t get out.  I am a long ways from no where so it’s not like I could just go buy a live trap.  So I settled with mouse traps, and not happy about that.

Removed shower skylight North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAfter removing the inner skylight I set out 4 mouse traps.

Shower skylight North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaThere is electric wires and insulation in the ceiling and I hoped they hadn’t made a nest.  All traps were tripped when I returned from my three-day weekend.  Then I heard a rustling sound and discover a chippy in the empty kitchen trash can.  It had to have fallen in somehow.  So I let it go.

Seems Google answers say chipmunks won’t stay inside, that they Like to live outside.  So what’s up with this group?  I’ve lived on the North Rim with chipmunks for seven summers and never had them come into my RV.

Friday I saw a chipmunk in my bedroom.  Again, how are they getting in?  So I set a trap and soon heard a squeal.  Caught it by the leg so put it outside and set it free.  Two out of four, I hoped.

Two chipmunks on truck tire North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaI think chipmunks are adorable, in their outside environment.  But they are rodents that can carry both rabies and fleas with bubonic plague.

During research on how to get rid of them, or better yet keep them outside, I discovered various chipmunk repellents.  A store bought organic pest repellent granules covered with coyote urine.  Because there are no stores nearby and I don’t plan to harvest coyote urine I think of trying a homemade repellent made by grinding up super hot peppers in an oil or water solution and spraying it around possible areas of chipmunk access.  Although a friend brought me two hot peppers I haven’t tried this yet.  I am concerned about the lingering odor and how it blends with the spearmint oil I spray to keep spiders out.

I bought window screen to cover the roof top air-conditioner which seems to be the only thing with openings large enough for chipmunks.  But after three days of not hearing them scamper in the ceiling I hope they went back to their favored outside environment.

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  1. Oh dear. They are darling, but they are rodents and the negatives are just as you say. Hope they are gone for good, it’s a shame to have to put out mouse traps but what else can you do? You can’t have them making nests in your house and leaving presents all around. Good luck!
    Sherry recently posted..Early Morning in the MeadowMy Profile

    • I certainly didn’t want to trap them in the ceiling and deal with that problem and stink. Seems they’ve left. Now to search out how they got in the first place and block that access.

  2. Oh yikes! Hope they are gone for good. Many (many many) years ago we had an old self-converted camper van (made from a very used bread truck)…. we had chipmunks get in one night through the sink drainpipe. You haven’t lived until you try to catch a couple of chippies in a van already crowded with four small kids (whom you are trying not to scare to death) and two not small adults. Fun times. My middle aged kids still talk about that experience.
    Sallie (FullTime-Life) recently posted..PILEATED WOODPECKERMy Profile

    • That must have been quite a show. I had one in an old motorhome once and instead of it going in the live trap I pushed it into a paper bag from the back of the passenger seat then drove it far far away. Haven’t heard them in days so need to find their access and fix that.

  3. One easy and humane mouse trap I discovered is a 5-gallon plastic pail with a little bird seed in the bottom. At least it worked in my garage when I had mice there–much as your wastebasket worked. You need to check it daily, for obvious reasons, but I am thinking it would work with chipmunks.

    Please let us know how these guys got in. I am supposed to thread my electrical cord through a small hole in the bottom of one compartment, but I get lazy and just leave that compartment door open because I don’t store anything in it other than sewer hoses. However, I did have mice once, and I ended up with a raccoon in April who apparently used that as an entrance and got into the next door compartment. Was not happy with the chewed up roll of paper towel and thumping around early one morning. Scared it out and cleaned up mess, but I did not realize that the two compartments were attached near the sewer tank. Guess I need to take the time to stick the electric cord through properly and latch that compartment. I am wondering if there are other ways to get in through underneath my vehicle. Hmmmm.

    • I try to never leave compartment doors open but have to believe these came in from something on the roof. I’m going to check all the vent screens. A raccoon would really be a drag in the RV.

  4. My dog @ I , started feeding a few chipmunks, we love to sit in the yard, and watch them run about. Now we are being over run by them. and my dog has contracted rodent flees. not all my dog’s. only the one who sits with me ,enjoying the show. now I have to get them outa here. im terrified , hav’nt a idea what to do . poison them?i did get these fleaes under control. but he cant play out side any more till I rid my yard of all this I created my own self. HELP any ideas???????????